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Jilly Offline OP
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Here are some basic concepts to help you lower summer cooling costs by putting off the massive energy usage of your air conditioner for as long as possible.

Ten Easy Ways to Keep Cool Without AC

How do you keep cool at home?

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Great article, Jilly...wonderful ideas!


Dianne Walker

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Jilly Offline OP
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Thanks, Dianne! Today is 93 degrees and a bit unseasonally hot for april. I am following my own advice today -

- windows open all night, with a table fan in the windowsill
- have non-south facing windows open for a cross breeze
- using a table fan in the window of the room I am in
- keeping the doors shut during the hot hours
- shades drawn on windows that get bright light
- no cooking inside! I have a microwave on my porch and used it to heat up some decaf coffee and leftover pizza
- keeping as many lights off as possible
- bathed in cool water midday
- drinking lots of fresh water
- wearing light cotton clothes and flip flops
- not being active in the midday - saving moving around type activities for the evening!

I will add that i am very comfortable this way. It feels like a nice 70 degrees in here. I can feel the difference if i venture outside!

Last edited by Jilly; 04/23/12 06:54 PM.
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Jilly Offline OP
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It cooled off for a few days and then we had a rainstorm. SLowly the temps are creeping back up. Today was comfortably in the 80s, with a few 88-90s days coming up this week.

This will be a good time to do more experimenting with keeping cool. Thus far, a table fan is a must, as well as keeping windows and doors open at night and shut during the day. (at least when the nighttime temps are cool enough to sleep through).

I am also going to mess around with portable window insulating ideas, and using cool washcloths during the day.

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Jilly Offline OP
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Today worked well - kept the door shut and window cracked with a fan in front of it. Lights off and did not cook inside except for heating a beverage in the microwave.

Doing well tonite - got the door and window open, table fan on the windowsill.

It will be in the upper 80s and 90s all this week, so we will see how it works. Remember, my goal is no AC until it reaches 100!

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Here in northern Indiana we get really hot and HUMID days in the summer. My little house came with AC but I try to use it as seldom as possible. Luckily, the house has a full basement that stays pretty cool, and on hot days I turn on the furnace fan to circulate that nice cool air upstairs. I open all the windows overnight, and have window fans on the east side to push cool air inside all night. Then at sunrise I shut all the windows and close the curtains. Despite this, when the indoor temp gets to 82 (my melting point) I finally turn on the AC to about 78, but usually only have to do that a few days a year.

Now for a pet peeve. I have several neighbors who NEVER open their windows, but run their AC from spring till fall, night and day. Don't they realize how nice fresh air smells, and how lovely and cool it usually is? I just can't understand them!

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It is definitely not a healthy environment in that house if it is never aired out. That would not be ideal for me! Fresh air is my preference whenever possible, but I do not have a high tolerance for heat and humidity.


Debbie Grejdus
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I like your tips, Jilly.

Where I live though I would never make it to 100 degrees without the a/c turned on. It would be just too humid and hard for me to breathe. I think you have a little more leeway in a drier climate.


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Jilly Offline OP
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Thank you, Debbie. (BTW, I miss calling you Cassie!)

Yeah, I do have to caveat that i live in a very dry place. That makes a big difference. If this was a humid state, I am not sure exactly when i would draw the line at turning on the AC. I would try to prolong the coolness as long as possible with other ways, I think. Or maybe I'd just give up at 85 degrees - does that seem to be when most people do it?

With this arid AZ climate, I can acclimate to anything in the 90s. Once it reaches over 100 F, though, it is too oppressive for me and I get miserable. That's why this summer I hope to spend most of it camping in the mountains.

I lot of people in the American West use swamp coolers and I don't know about the energy usage for those. I know it is a ton less watts than AC - it uses water to cool things down.

I have a window AC unit and that suffices for my studio. Let me look at last summer's bills.

Okay, I just documented my thoughts in the electrical bill thread. Here is the link where I discuss my observations on my electrical use from month to month.

Last edited by Jilly; 05/03/12 05:36 PM.
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Jilly Offline OP
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Claybird, I hear you on the humidity and indoor temps! I am miserable in humid climates.

I am using the outdoors temps as a guideline - so for me, when it is 100 outside. I don't know what my indoor temps would be as I have no way to measure in here. I am hoping that my techniques can keep things significantly cooler than outside.

I love fresh air too. I really do try to air things out inside my home daily, even in winter, if only for a few minutes to get some good air exchange.

What's nice right now about having the windows open and no AC on is that I can hear all the outside sounds - birds, wind in the trees, randy feral cats screeching... wink

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